oppn parties Delhi Elections: How Will The People Vote After The Vitriolic Campaign?

News Snippets

  • Government data placed in Parliament shows a sharp decline in job creation under its flagship employment generation schemes
  • The government is working to amend the Aadhar Act to make it possible for the Aadhar to be linked with the Voter's ID. Election Commission will simultaneously be empowered to link the two
  • Tapas Pal, former TMC MP, dies of cardiac arrest in Mumbai. He was questioned for his alleged involvement in the Rose Valley scam and gained notoriety for his rape remark in 2014.
  • Bypoll to panchayats in J&K, scheduled for March in eight phases, postponed due to security concerns.
  • Supreme Court says that overhead power transmission lines going through the Desert National Park in Jaisalmer in Rajasthan must go underground to save the Great Indian Bustard and the Lesser Florican
  • Pakistan not placed in FAFT blacklist but kept on the grey list with warning
  • The government is expected to announce duty cuts and other measures to combat business disruption due to coronavirus outbreak in China
  • South-East Asia loses its charm as a tourist destination after the coronavirus outbreak in China, airfares dip to new lows
  • DMK leader RS Bharathi says media is running like the red light area in Mumbai
  • A Delhi court issues fresh warrants for the hanging of the Nirbhaya convicts. Fixes the date for March 3
  • Supreme Court appoints a mediation team to ask Shaheen Bagh protestors to avoid blocking the road and shift to another venue
  • Supreme Court says peaceful protests cannot be denied in a democracy but also says that a balance must be struck as protestors cannot be allowed to block roads
  • Telcos pay part of their dues for AGR after the bashing from the Supreme Court
  • Debbie Abrahams, a Labour MP from UK, who was critical of India's action in Kashmir, not allowed to enter India. She was deported to Dubai from the Delhi airport
  • Sidharth Shukla wins Big Boss 13
Former principal secretary to PM Modi, Nripendra Mishra, appointed to head the temple committee of the Ram Janambhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust
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Delhi Elections: How Will The People Vote After The Vitriolic Campaign?

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2020-02-08 09:01:47

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

The people of Delhi will finally be relieved as they line up to vote today. For the past couple of months, they have witnessed an election campaign that was about everything else but the development of their beloved city. Although the BJP has, in recent times, tried to conduct all state election campaigns on national rather than local issues, the Delhi campaign stood out because of the extra vitriol in the hate speeches (desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maro saalon ko) and other efforts to polarize the electorate. The BJP was handed a ready issue by the Shaheen Bagh (SB) protestors. It remains to be seen how many people were swayed enough by its vitriol to vote for it.

Kejriwal's ambivalence towards the SB protestors and his last-minute visit to the Hanuman Temple might be seen as a panic reaction to the BJP overdrive. In the week leading to the polls, there were reports of an undercurrent of support for the BJP (although earlier opinion polls had all said that though the BJP would increase its vote share, AAP would still form the government). But should Kejriwal worry, given his people-friendly initiatives that are being appreciated by many? Yes. Indian politics is getting dirtier by the day (and in this context, one thinks that Amitabh Bachchan, who had called it a "cesspool" in the Eighties, will not find an appropriate word to describe it now). One's governance record, which should normally be the barometer of one's capabilities, is often pushed aside by 'other' factors. Hence, in the end, more people might be swayed by the allegations that the AAP has paid people to protest at SB or is supplying them biryani than they will be by the mohalla clinics or free commute for women in government buses or free electricity his government is providing.

Whatever be the final decision of the people of Delhi, one thing is clear: there is an urgent need to change the tone and tenor of election campaigning in India. What country would tolerate people at election rallies yelling for the blood of a section of their own countrymen? Who gives them the right to brand any and everyone a gaddar? Things, if one might say, have already gone out of hand. If there is any further decline in the standard of campaigning, elections might be won but the country, as we know it and want it to be, will be lost forever.